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Mikhail Liebenstein

Airbnb Room Lets Tax Crackdown

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Ok, initial impact may be in Ireland, but HMRC on the case too:


That said, if the allowance rises to £7500, I doubt many would make that much, But still a back tax bill for a few years could be reasonably large.

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I can imagine some huge tax bills. Friends of ours from Oz - family of 6 - were recently over and paid initially for at least a week for an airbnb house in Parson's Green. There was a plumbing problem with it and they were transferred to a 4 bedroom Georgian terraced house in Holland Park - a hugely expensive area of London. They said the place did not seem to be anybody's home - although done very nicely it was evidently there just for rental. God knows what the official rate for that was, although our friends still only paid for the less sw*nky place in Parson's Green.

Edited by Mrs Bear

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People renting out a room for a lodger on a short term basis are not really the problem relating to Airbnb. The gains for HMRC will be so small that it will prove hardly worth focussing on.

Meantime I have noted a sharp increase in houses/flats in Manchester being used solely for Airbnb purposes. For me the UK as a whole has some significant gaps in legislation relating to how the councils can react to this. Using a property for Airbnb purposes DOES NOT count as a change of use for a premises under present legislation, nor are there limitations on whether the owner has to be present or limitations on how often a property can be used in this fashion over the course of the year.

Recently, in London, the Deregulation Bill has been discussed and sits with the Lords awaiting approval. In this bill London is limiting Airbnb/short term lets to a maximum of 3 months per year.
The downsides to Airbnb are quite significant particularly in relation to the number of long term residences remaining available for locals to buy, impact on the hospitality industry and indeed nuisance issues. For example in relation to nuisance issues a house near me was able to change from a 3 bedroom house into an Airbnb residence with the potential for an UNLIMITED number of people to reside there temporarily. I have noted myself up to 8 people in there at any one time. This is clearly going to lead to problems. Having contacted Manchester City Council Planning department then I find that they are powerless under present regulation, fortunately I became aware that the building was leasehold and shut it down through that means.
I can see Airbnb getting similar maximum limitations imposed in cities other than in London quite soon due to the issues mentioned above.

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